It might be the second season in a row the Los Angeles Kings have faced the Chicago Blackhawks in the Western Conference Final, but Kings defenseman Drew Doughty really likes what they’ve got going for them this time around.
Doughty spoke with reporters upon arrival in Chicago on Saturday and said he likes what they’ve got going this time around as opposed to when they lost in five games to the Blackhawks last season.
“I think we’ve got a better team this year than last year,” Doughty said. “We’ve got some new additions. We’ve got some D-men like Muzz, who is playing a lot better than he was last year. He’s a lot more confident and has that experience now. We’ve got Gabby in the trade and Gabby’s been a huge fit to this team. He’s produced a lot of points and helped us a lot offensively and putting him with Kopi is great too.
“I think some of those little things make us a better team this year. Hopefully we can take advantage of what we learned from last year.”
Jake Muzzin has been Doughty’s partner for two seasons now and they’ve made for a formidable top pairing on the blue line.
The offense the Kings have gotten from Anze Kopitar, the leading scorer in the playoffs, and Marian Gaborik, the playoff’s leading goal-scorer, has given L.A. that trickier element to deal with.
One thing Doughty didn’t mention was how this year’s Kings team is actually healthy headed into the Western Final. If you’re going up against the defending champs, it’s best to have your full roster healthy and ready to go.
When it comes to point streaks for U.S.-born NHL players, Patrick Kane now stands alone.
With a power-play goal early in Saturday’s Blackhawks – Kings game, Kane extended his streak to 19 games, breaking a tie with Phil Kessel and Eddie Olczyk (who finished with at least a point in 18 straight).
As of this writing, Kane has 11 goals and 19 assists during this 19-game streak. He also leads the NHL in scoring.
Bobby Hull’s 21-game point streak stands as the Chicago Blackhawks’ overall team record, by the way.
Kane also tied Denis Savard (1985-86) for second-longest streak in Chicago history. Bobby Hull had a 21-game streak.